Tell me if this sounds familiar: Pop/rock group makes a hit, gets unjustly labeled as a “one-hit wonder,” releases a dark and emotional masterpiece that witnesses the band crumbling, breaks up soon afterwards, disappears for years despite some generous re-appraisals of their later work, finally re-appears.
Trick question! I described (at least) two bands. Weezer famously vanished after Pinkerton. Eve 6, less famously, disappeared after It’s All In Your Head. The differences? First, Weezer disappeared for a mere five years. Eat your heart out, Rivers. Eve 6 is returning nine-plus years after It’s All In Your Head hit. Tomorrow, the lead single for their fourth album will be released. (You can already stream it here.)
Another difference, of course, is Eve 6 never made an impact the way that Weezer did. Eve 6’s fanbase, I’m sure, has remained devoted. But the band never gained traction the way Weezer did before their 2001 comeback.
Perhaps the biggest difference of all between Weezer’s much-talked-about return a decade ago and Eve 6’s imminent return is that Weezer’s comeback was… well… a decade ago. The music scene has changed drastically since then. Rock — especially rock by slick pop-rockers with a number in their band name — is out, way out.
So, why come back? What’s waiting for Eve 6?
Colton and I are waiting for Eve 6.
Of course, Colton — a good friend and fellow Earn This writer — has proven his allegiance to his beloved bands from late nineties and early aughts with his thoughtful consideration of the significance of Third Eye Blind’s Ursa Major. Many critics would have argued a comeback album from a band that many didn’t really miss didn’t even warrant that type of thought.
But comebacks are fascinating. They’re important to fans. They raise important questions about why we love music, and what is loyalty, and how much is it worth. I will have something to say when the day comes and Eve 6’s fourth CD hits shelves. Colton might, too. We did see an Eve 6 concert together, after all.
I had happily ignored all buzz about Eve 6’s return, but some details have leaked the past few weeks. It’s starting to seem like this return was made specifically for me, or at least people like me: we are the people who bought Eve 6 singles and albums long after the band disappeared, people who remembered the tiny band that could. To us, Eve 6 is a team of three men who helped us realize how quickly an unchecked life can sink to depression and emptiness. That’s the cycle of their three albums: guy feels lonley, guy has sex, guy feels lonely again.
And, occasionally, they reminded us that there’s something elusive and something meaningful that can be gleaned from all the toil. What were the last words they said to us before they confusingly disappeared, seemingly forever? “Pick yourself up off the ground.”
That final beat is a clever little wink, but it reminds me of a great line from another band I love, Relient K: “Nourished back to life by life alone.” Eve 6 didn’t really give us a reason to aim for a higher contentment. They just asked us to assume there was a reason, and pointed out what might happen if we didn’t make that assumption. Maybe they could teach us this because they were there themselves, “still here waiting” for that transient happiness.
All signs point to this long-delayed comeback being one for the fans, a follow-up to the career trajectory they rapidly fulfilled (rise-fall) a decade ago. Maybe they’ll crystallize some ideas that have brewing in our minds since they disappeared and give us a broad perspective of our lives. Or maybe they’ll just ask us to remember what we were when they said goodbye, to live in those past moments that Eve 6 has accompanied us.
If the lead single is to be trusted, Eve 6 will ask us to re-discover the complex, hurting aimlessness that they depicted so effectively in the early 2000s. It’s not that they want us to pretend we’re suffering the same ways we did ten years ago — just that they want us relate that suffering to the trials we tackle now. I’m okay with that. I’m excited to hear where Eve 6 takes me, what they make me feel and think. It’ll be an immensely personal journey, one that won’t make a major splash on the pop culture radar the way Weezer once did.
But it’s a comeback for me. It’s almost ten years in the making, and it’s one I’ll gladly share with the readers of this site when the time comes.